If you ever get a chance to travel to the D-Day beaches, to stand in the sand, lean back, and look straight up the sheer cliffs of Pointe du Hoc, you should go. I won’t try to dramatize or sensationalize the moment other than to say that the Army Rangers climbed straight up the sheer rock, into a hail of bullets, to seize the German fortifications. From the top of Pointe du Hoc, you can see many of the key beachheads, many of the pilings and structures that were manufactured in England and hauled across the channel to strategic places where they were intentionally submerged. The Allied Forces, literally, built a harbor, built wharves, in order to land men and materiel—and all this was done simultaneously as the battle progressed.
Every inch of this place is a testament, a memorial, to what was achieved and what was sacrificed.
We need these places—the battlefields, the memorials, the cemeteries. We need to walk through the camps in Krakow, in Dachau, in Auschwitz. We need to watch that horrendous archival footage, because as Eisenhower warned, “Get it all on record now—get the films—get the witnesses—because somewhere down the track of history some b@$+@rd will get up and say that this never happened.”
The same is true for 9-11. We need to see that footage. We need to walk that field in Shanksville, PA. Please note, I include those passengers in this tribute to veterans, because, they were drafted into a conflict where they sacrificed themselves on behalf of others. They defended us. Hopefully, these tangible, visible things will remind us of the myriad places we cannot visit and we cannot see—like the countless faraway places where soldiers fought on our behalf: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Mogadishu, Korea, Vietnam . . . .
We need memorials, we need statues, and we must regain a sense of the history all around us. It is insufficient to site the wars and warriors of recent memory. What about the places and the people of antiquity? We hike through fields and boat on rivers where poorly equipped patriots mounted amphibious assaults, in the dead of night, in order to free us from tyranny. We scratch the surface and we unearth muskets and shot from the ground where good men died to free their enslaved brothers. And far too often we are blind and oblivious to the cost that went into each and every acre.
Likewise, when we thank a person in uniform, when we buy them a meal, or when we send them a package from home, we run the risk of forgetting about those people all around us, who are carrying the cost of service beneath their clothes and in their hearts, who may need us, and our recognition, more than ever.
Originally, I thought about ending this essay with a quote about unshakable courage, say maybe with King Leonidas of Sparta, who when he was told that his enemies were so numerous that their arrows would blot out the sun, he replied, “Good, then we fight in the shade.”
However, at the risk of sounding too Christian and too patriotic, as if there is such a thing, I will end on this, “Greater love hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
Thank you to our heroes, past and present, in war and in peace, because you never know when the call may come. Thank you to every branch of service—the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, and the Coast Guard.
May every day be Veteran’s Day!
November Mix and Mingle
Thursday, November 30th
WCRP’s Annual Reagan Day Dinner
Saturday, January 6, 2024
Cool Springs Marriott
More information coming soon!
WCRP SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE FORUM Tuesday, January 30, 2024 Williamson County Ag Expo Park 4215 Long Lane Franklin, TN 37064 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
We need strong conservative candidates for our upcoming elections.
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NEXT ELECTION – TUESDAY, MARCH 5, 2024
OFFICES ON THE BALLOT: Presidential Primary Williamson County Primary Circuit Court Judge, Division III (21st Judicial District) District Attorney General (21st Judicial District) Assessor of property
Williamson County School Board (Districts 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 & 11) Franklin Special School District Board of Education (Three Seats)
*DEADLINE TO FILE: Thursday, December 14 , 2023, at 12 noon *VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Monday, February 5, 2024 *EARLY VOTING PERIOD: February 14 through the 27th